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Pseudofolliculitis of the Beard Follow-up

  • Author: Thomas G Greidanus, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
 
Updated: Feb 10, 2016
 

Further Outpatient Care

Outpatient evaluation and patient education is effective. With proper techniques, transfollicular and extrafollicular penetration can be minimized.

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Deterrence/Prevention

Hair-releasing procedures and shaving should be performed after a shower to hydrate and soften both the skin and the hair. Subsequent shaving results in a duller, rounded tip to the hair, which is less likely to reenter the skin.

Wash the beard with a face cloth, a wet sponge, or a soft-bristled toothbrush with a mild soap for several minutes using a circular motion. This technique helps to dislodge stubborn tips.

Using needles or toothpicks to dislodge stubborn tips is controversial. It usually is not recommended because overly aggressive digging with sharp objects can cause further damage to the skin.

Patients with pseudofolliculitis barbae may use razors if single-edged, foil-guarded, safety razors are used.[23] Double- or triple-bladed razors shave too closely and should not be used. Commercially available foil-guarded razors have about 30% of the blade covered by foil, which prevents the blade from shaving the hair too closely.

Electric razors have acceptable results if used properly. The recommended technique with a 3-headed rotary electric razor is to keep the heads slightly off the surface of the skin and to shave in a slow, circular motion. Do not press the electric razor close to the skin or pull the skin taut because this results in too close of a shave. Some electric razors have "dial in" settings for the closeness of the shave. These may be effective if kept off of the closest settings.

Electric clippers are effective for resistant cases of pseudofolliculitis barbae. With clippers, 1- to 2-mm stubble can be left on the face. The tendency to shave too closely is reduced with this method, making it more effective. The appearance of stubble may be cosmetically unacceptable for some patients.

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Complications

Although usually not regarded as a serious medical problem, pseudofolliculitis barbae may cause cosmetic disfigurement. The papules may lead to scarring, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, secondary infection, and keloid formation.

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Prognosis

Although usually not regarded as a serious medical problem, pseudofolliculitis barbae can cause cosmetic disfigurement. The papules can lead to scarring, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, secondary infection, and keloid formation. No cure exists, but effective treatment is available. If the patient is able to grow a beard, the problem usually disappears (except for any residual scarring).

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Patient Education

Instruct the patient to stop shaving for 3-4 weeks. This gives adequate time for the hair follicles to grow to a length where ingrown hairs will spring free.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Thomas G Greidanus, MD Emergency Physician, Parkview Medical Center

Thomas G Greidanus, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Association for Physician Leadership, American Medical Association, Colorado Medical Society

Disclosure: Received ownership interest from Incendant Inc. for other.

Coauthor(s)

Beth Honl, MD Dermatology Associates, PC; Private Practice

Beth Honl, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeffrey Meffert, MD Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Jeffrey Meffert, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Sciences, Director of Dermatology Residency Program, University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Canadian Medical Association, Pacific Dermatologic Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Medical Protective Association, Canadian Dermatology Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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Pseudofolliculitis barbae on the neck of a black man.
 
 
 
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